MADISON, WI – District 8 Alder MGR Govindarajan released the following statement:

“The video of Audrey Godlewski disrespecting and using racial slurs towards black students on campus are disgusting. These actions go far behind just one student as shown by the laughter in the background.

Us students of color know that this is one of many closed-door conversations that made its way to public light, and we are sick of it. We should not have to deal with the microaggressions and constant dehumanization every single day. It is wrong.

The University has an obligation to protect their students of color: to make us feel welcomed, make us feel safe, make us feel like you want us here for more than just diversity points. If the University truly values what it preaches through their Sifting and Reckoning Exhibit, they will take steps to protect students of color. Their actions speak louder than words, and the entire community is watching now.

To the students who have the privilege of being in the rooms where these conversations take place: It is up to you to hold your peers accountable, racism is wrong no matter the setting. You might feel bad for the student in the video for whatever reason, but you shouldn’t. Don’t normalize feeling bad for people when they’re racist, instead you should normalize consequences for such hateful and targeted words.

I will continue to uplift the voice of students across our city, especially the voice of those which are suppressed and not heard nearly enough.”